Mountain House
International Caux Conferences - Official Opening 2016
1 July, 2016
Friday, 1. July 2016 - 12:00 to 18:30

Crossing Borders, Crossing Cultures: How to Build Trust Around Migration?

Caux 70 anniversary 2016 EN logoFriday 1 July, 2016

2016 marks 70 years of active work by the CAUX-IofC Foundation in trustbuilding. This year, trustbuilding is more relevant than ever: with migration on the rise, individuals from different walks of life are led to encounter one another.

Hear the perspectives and personal stories of a migrant, a refugee, a frontline-officer and representatives of the national and international policy making level - setting the tone for the 2016 Caux Conferences!

Caux View Lake

12:00 Welcome drinks

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Official welcome

  • Mr Laurent Wehrli, Mayor of Montreux
  • Mr Antoine Jaulmes and Ms Barbara Hintermann, President and Secretary-General of the CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation

Keynote speeches

Panel conversation and interaction with participants led by Mr Serge Michel, Journalist at Le Monde, with

Closing remarks

Musical interludes

16:45 Cocktail

17:30 Guided tour of the Caux Palace

18:30 End


Registration with or 022 749 16 20 before 20 June 2016 is compulsory. Please indicate your full name, email address, dietary requirements (if relevant) as well as arrival and departure times.

Caux Palace


Keynote Speakers & Musical Interlude

Ambassador William Lacy Swing
Ambassador William Lacy Swing
Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Ambassador William Lacy Swing of the United States is now on his second five-year term as Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He was re-elected on 14 June 2013 by IOM’s governing body to the post that he has held since October 2008. From May 2003 till January 2008, as UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ambassador Swing successfully led all facets of the largest UN peacekeeping operation in history. Prior to his work in the DRC, Ambassador Swing served from 2001 to 2003 as the Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Chief of Mission for the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

During a long diplomatic career at the US Department of State, Mr. Swing was a six-time ambassador, managing some of the largest diplomatic missions and foreign development and humanitarian aid programmes in two hemispheres, with a record of strengthening bilateral relationships.

Through his diplomatic assignments in countries facing significant migration movements, he has acquired a deep understanding of the multiple factors affecting international migration. Ambassador Swing graduated from Catawba College in North Carolina (Bachelor of Arts) and Yale University (Bachelor of Divinity), and did post-graduate studies at Tübingen University in Germany and at Harvard University. He speaks fluent French and German. For more information and for the full bio of Ambassador William Lacy Swing, please click here.


Mario Gattiker
Mario Gattiker
Mario Gattiker, State Secretary of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)

Mario Gattiker was born in 1956 in Berne. He graduated from the law department of Bern University in 1983. From 1984 to 2000, Mr. Gattiker worked for various Swiss charities and relief organizations. In 2001 he became head of both the Secretariat of the Federal Commission for Foreigners and the newly created Integration Section at the Federal Aliens Office. In 2003 Mr. Gattiker was elected vice president and head of the Integration and Citizenship Department at the Federal Office of Immigration, Integration and Emigration.

Mr. Gattiker was head of the Directorate for Work, Integration and Citizenship at the Federal Office for Migration from 2005. In February 2011 he became head of the Directorate of Immigration and Integration, assuming, in addition, the position of deputy director in December 2010. On 1 January 2012 he was appointed director of the Federal Office for Migration, since 1 January 2015 he is State Secretary of the new State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). Mr. Gattiker is married and has four children.


Serge MichelSerge Michel, Reporter for Le Monde and Chief Editor Le Monde Afrique

Serge Michel, 47, is reporter at large for Le Monde and chief editor of Le Monde Afrique, the African version of the website Michel has worked as a journalist in Switzerland, Iran, the Balkans and Africa. In 2001, he won the Albert Londres Prize, France's most prestigious journalistic award, for his work in Iran. He’s the founder of the Bondy Blog, a popular website and a stunning experience of “citizen journalism”, written from within the volatile French suburbs. Together with Paolo Woods and Michel Beuret, he has published China Safari – On the trail of Beijing’s expansion in Africa  (Nation Books, 2009), charting China’s dramatic rise in Africa. Michel’s last book Marche sur mes yeux, portrait de l’Iran aujourd’hui (Grasset, 2010, with pictures of Paolo Woods) is a thrilling, controversial, in-depth look at the Iranian society and recent history. Michel has written for le Monde, le Temps, le Figaro, le Point, Géo, Aperture, Fortune, Foreign Policy and The Independent.


Abo HawiAbo Hawi, Farmer and Community Leader (Ethiopia)

Abo Hawi is the nickname of Gebremicheal Gidey Berhe. Born in June 1962 in Klteawlaelo district in Ethiopia, he is a model farmer and community leader of Abrha Weatsbha village. He is a champion and transformational leader in achieving sustainable natural resources management. By building resilience in society and ecosystems, he supports village farmers with ensuring their food security and with growing assets while ensuring environmental benefits and services. His story has been captured by the film Ethiopia Rising.  

Mr. Hawi and the Abrha Weatsbha village received many regional, national and international awards and certificates, including the Equator Prize 2012, as well as the certificate of recognition and achievements in 2009 from Ministry of Women Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and 15 other official Ethiopian certificates and awards. He had talks in local, national, and international conferences representing his community.


Carlos VasquezCarlos Vasquez (Bolivia/Switzerland)

Carlos Vasquez was born in 1993 in Bolivia. At age 12, he followed his mother to live in Switzerland, together with his two brothers. Being schooled in Geneva, he was confronted with intercultural experiences both with regards to the diplomatic community, other migrants and the local population, which were at times highly challenging.

Today, he is working, alongside his studies and his jobs as a bike courier and a waiter, as a volunteer for several local associations. These include Kairos and Face à Face, who are working to prevent adolescents’ engagement in risk-taking behavior or violent action, and Do it Yourself Geneva, who is promoting an ecological and resilient society based on the sharing of skills.


Ladislaus LöbProf. Ladislaus Löb

Prof. Ladislaus Löb is Professor Emeritus of German at the University of Sussex in England.

Born in 1933 in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), Romania, Prof. Löb was taken with his relatives to the Kolozsvár Ghetto at age 11 but escaped with his father and joined the “Kasztner group” in Budapest. The group consisted of almost 1700 Hungarian Jews who were given safe passage to Switzerland, as a result of a deal struck between Adolf Eichmann and the Hungarian lawyer and Zionist leader Rudolf Kastner. The group was detained in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Hannover, Germany, for five months before Eichmann allowed them to leave for Switzerland in December 1944. He has written about his experience in Dealing with Satan: Rezso Kasztner's Daring Rescue Mission (2008). For this book he received the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Award 2012.

After his stay at the former Caux-Palace, which was a home for refugees and internees during WWII, he continued his school and studies in Zürich, became a naturalized Swiss citizen and also worked as a teacher and a journalist. In 1963, he started his university career at the University of Sussex in the UK, teaching also at the University of Constance in Germany and Middlebury College in Vermont, USA.


Noam VazanaNoam Vazana burst onto the global music scene in 2011 with the release of her first album, Daily Sketch, and has continued to capture audiences internationally with her charismatic exceptional voice, songwriting and her unique ability to play piano and trombone simultaneously.
Noam's latest release, Love Migration, is a magical and personal journey that might remind you of Joni Mitchell's Blue. In the album, Noam candidly describes her experiences as an immigrant in Europe while having a long distance relationship. With sophisticated simplicity she draws the listener to identify with her search for a feeling of home.
Love Migration won the ACUM album prize, ranked #14 at the iTunes bestselling charts and #2 on DPRP's best albums of the year for 2015. Vazana played on TEDx NL, Jazzahead DE, Tanjazz MA, Roccella Jazz IT, North sea jazz NL & Peace congress ISR.